abp: guns

Here’s the Spotify link to the playlist. You’re welcome to recreate it on any platform you choose. Just press play and read along, acting like the voice in your head is the DJ. The times listed are that of the song playing, not the full episode length. I play this with a 5-second cross-fade enabled. Have fun!

Intro

FMF#TrackArtistAlbumYear
1“Peter Gunn”Henry ManciniMusic From Peter Gunn1959

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Hello and welcome to abp’s guns episode! Love ’em or hate ’em, they’re engrained in society and have been since their early conceptual days in China over a thousand years ago. Today we’re gonna talk about everything gun-related. Gun types, ammunition, gun laws, gun collectors, and more come up during the episode. We’re also going to raise a toast to Saint Joe Strummer of The Clash toward the end of our show.

01:10 If you live in America in the 21st century then you are 100% aware of what a gun is. Many Americans love to reference their US Constitutional 2nd Amendment which states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

01:40 Much like the Bible, the Quran, and other outdated texts that are for some reason still referenced in this day and age, this amendment has words that are open to interpretation by the reader. Because of this, America fights over guns every single day, slogging through mass shooting after mass shooting just to send more thoughts and prayers and start the whole process over again. Unfortunately, also because of this, we have a full clip of songs about guns in the episode and had plenty to choose from.

02:10 Starting things off is The Rebel Spell with guns personified. “I Am A Rifle” speaks from the gun’s perspective and boy is it a harsh reality. Toddserious’ final lyric of the song gives me chills to hear and read. “I am a rifle, I am this blockade, I am the fire of a thousand murdered sons, I am resistance, I am your problem, I’m not leaving and I am your fault!” Extremely apt and on point. Sadly, Toddserious fell while rock climbing near Las Vegas in 2015 and died. What an unbelievably tragic end to something so hopeful. Propagandhi covered it in 2015 after Todd died, but here’s Todd and The Rebel Spell doing “I Am A Rifle”.

Set 1: The Wonderful Thing About Triggers

2“I Am A Rifle”The Rebel SpellFour Songs About Freedom2007
3“Machine Gun Etiquette”The DamnedMachine Gun Etiquette1979
4”The Kids Need Guns”The ChatsHigh Risk Behaviour2020
5“Gunbullet”The LillingtonsThe Too Late Show2006
6“Bikini Girls With Machine Guns”The CrampsStay Sick!1990

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 There’s definitely a market out there for people who love to look at scantily-clad women sporting an assault weapon. It reminds me of being a kid and seeing posters on garage walls of uncles who loved Harleys or that older brother character in 80s teen movies. Back then it seemed liked such a trucker/biker thing, but there’s nuance in fetish and clearly the concept attracted people all over the ideological spectrum. That was The Cramps doing “Bikini Girls With Machine Guns”.

00:40 The Lillingtons play that Ramones-core punk rock that other groups like Screeching Weasel, The Queers, The Riverdales, The Eyeliners, and Teenage Bottlerocket are known for. With simple lyrics, chords, and solos, the Wyoming punks pride themselves on simplicity. “Gunbullet” is a tune about a double agent who travels to West Iran to…mess up “their” plan.

01:10 Aussie punks The Chats play classic punk revival from down under. Their sound is nearly identical to the groups who first created it almost 30 years before The Chats were born. “The Kids Need Guns” references little Johnny and Petey; two American kids who shoot the kids at school after learning it from the TV. It sounds so unreal, yet it happens almost weekly in America.

01:40 One of those classic punk bands that has made an impact on The Chats was The Damned. A classic masterpiece in the punk scene, Machine Gun Etiquette. This album was harder and faster than their previous two records, perhaps due to having Lemmy Kilmister join Rat Scabies, Dave Vanian, and Captain Sensible in their offshoot effort Les Punks.

02:10 Coming up in our next set, we have some California skate punk paired up with Aussie and British garage acts. Leading off the set is the very first Rancid song I ever heard, “Gunshot”. Taken from Epitaph Records’ 1994 release Let’s Go, the track blasts out of a gun barrel with Lars Frederiksen’s hooky licks. Here’s Matt Freeman singing for the gang with “Gunshot”.

Intermission

7“Guns Of Navarone”Roland Alfonso And The Studio 1 OrchestraGuns Of Navarone1965

Set 2: Fully Loaded

8“Gunshot”RancidLet’s Go1994
9“Gun In Your Hand”LagwagonLet’s Talk About Feelings1998
10“The Gun”Wild SmilesAlways Tomorrow2014
11“Gun Man”Straight ArrowsOn Top!2018
12“The Gun In My Father’s Hand”Thee HeadcoatsGun In My Father’s Hand1995

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 That songs gets dark fairly quickly. That’s kinda how Billy Childish writes, though. The legendary punker and painter has been kicking out music since the mid 1970s and has released well over 100 albums in that time. “The Gun In My Father’s Hand” was featured as the A-side to a double dad-hating single from 1996. The B-Side was titled “The Day I Beat My Father Up”. Given that Billy’s dad was thrown in jail for smuggling drugs, I’d imagine these are fairly autobiographical daddy ditties.

00:40 Straight Arrows played before that with the tune “Gun Man” from their 2018 album On Top!. The Sydney group recorded their debut album It’s Happening on “strictly 1950s equipment” according to their Bandcamp page. Something must be in the water down under, because the psych fuzz music they put out down there is unmatchable to the rest of the West.

01:10 Wild Smiles hail from Hampshire and slap their British take on surf fuzz with their 2014 album Always Tomorrow. The band’s sound has been described as a mix of the Beach Boys, the Velvet Underground, the Shoes, the Jesus and Mary Chain and Dinosaur Jr. Or, if you’d like to simplify that, surfgaze. Is that a thing? I mean its all under the psych umbrella anyway. “The Gun” from Always Tomorrow was sandwiched in the middle of this set.

01:40 Joey Cape and the SoCal skate punks Lagwagon dropped by for a cut from most-likely their best known album Let’s Talk About Feelings. The LP was released on Fat Wreck Chords in 1998. Original band drummer Derrick Plourde left the band after their 2nd album Hoss, but would go on to drum for Joey Cape’s other band Bad Astronaut up until Derrick’s suicide in 2005. According the Kris Roe of The Ataris, Derrick shot himself.

02:10 And on that note our next set is filled with songs about staying away from those damn hand cannons. Tijuana Panthers are here to proclaim that you not shoot your guns. In 2015, the group put out Max Baker, their 4th LP. They hail from SoCal and their spin of surf rock sounds like its been thrown through a wow and flutter K-hole and scooped back out with a can of Tecate. Maybe its their chord progression or writing style, but I dig it. Here’s “Don’t Shoot Your Guns” from the T-Panthers.

Intermission

13“Gunshot”The FireballsQuite A Party 7″1961

Set 3: Safety Switch

14“Don’t Shoot Your Guns”Tijuana PanthersMax Baker2015
15”Madmen With Guns”Suspect PartsSuspect Parts2017
16”Dead Man’s Gun”Thee Oh SeesA Weird Exits2016
17”Don’t Play With Guns”The Black AngelsIndigo Meadow2013
18“Six Barrel Shotgun”Black Rebel Motorcycle ClubTake Them On, On Your Own2003

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15  I can’t even imagine the weight, much less impact of a six barrel shotgun. A single barrel shotgun has enough kick to break weak shoulders, imagine that times six? Black Rebel Motorcycle Club hail from the Bay Area of San Francisco, California, one of a handful of Bay Area artists on the show today. “Six Barrel Shotgun” comes from their ’03 release Take Them On, On Your Own.

00:30  The indie oasis of Austin, Texas has been serving up amazing rock and roll since the early days with garage groups like Sam The Sham and The Pharaohs and the infamously dubbed first-ever psychedelic group; The 13th Floor Elevators. The Black Angels take some cues from the Elevators with their tripped out psych sound, although I don’t ever hear the jug making a psychedelic comeback anytime soon. Their cautionary tale “Don’t Play With Guns” was the only single released from their 2013 LP Indigo Meadow.

01:00 More Bay Area psych sounds played before that with John Dwyer and the gang playing “Dead Man’s Gun” from Thee Oh Sees’ 2016 LP A Weird Exits. That album, along with its companion EP An Odd Entrances, was the first for the band to feature dual drummers. At that point, they began experimenting with progressive rock style song structures and jams, with some songs lasting upwards of twenty minutes!

01:30 German band Suspect Parts played us a cut from their 2017 self-titled debut. Well, the re-release was self-titled. The first tour edition of the album was titled Run For Your Life. “Madmen With Guns” laments living in fear of being shot and in many parts of the Western world that reality is just that, reality. What really gets you thinking, is what is considered a “madman”.

01:50 Up next we’re gonna hear about a few types of guns. I could probably put together an entire playlist just on gun types with how many gun songs are out there. Let’s keep it basic today and stick to a few well-knowns. How about revolvers, pistols, shotguns and machine guns? In 1933, German playwright, poet and Nazi Hanns Johst wrote a play titled Schlageter that uttered the famous and very often misattributed line “When I hear the word culture, I release the safety on my Browning.” Gross. This line has been twisted up a bit over the years and often credited to other infamous Nazis. Case in point, in 1981 Clint Conley of Mission Of Burma wrote the next song and titled it “That’s When I Reach For My Revolver”; a mistranslated version of the quote.

Intermission

19”Lone Gunman Theory”Le Grand MiercolesLone Gunman Theory2019

Set 4: Weapons, Weapons, Weapons

20”That’s When I Reach For My Revolver”Mission Of BurmaSignals, Calls And Marches1981
21”Pistol Of Fire”Kings Of LeonAha Shake Heartbreak2004
22”Shotgun Shooter”GØGGSGøggs2016
23”Machine Gun”RMBLRRMBLR2021
24”Guns”D.I.D.I.1983

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Casey Royer of DI and Adolescents fame wrote some complicated lyrics for the song “Guns”. It seems to be a bit tongue-in-cheek, calling out America’s love for guns and fear of them at the same time. Throw in a dash of libertarian-leave-me-alone and a few sprinkles of anti-authority and you have the makings of an essential 80s punk song. “Guns” was one of the first songs recorded by DI, released on their debut EP in 1983. You can find more DI on abp’s surfing and johnny episodes!

00:40 RMBLR formed out of the ashes of Atlanta glam punks The Heart Attacks. The Heart Attacks took cues from fellow Atlanta punks Black Lips and brought shock and awe to their stage presence, going for the typical rock and roll imagery and lifestyle. I mean, the lead singer’s name was Haircut. That was Chase Noles, who now goes by Chase Tail for RMBLRS. We heard “Machine Gun” from RMBLR’s 2021 self-titled EP.

01:10 Ty Segall side project Gøggs referenced the double barrel in their 2016 track “Shotgun Shooter”. Much like Suspect Parts’ tune from earlier, this song discusses the fear of being shot by someone on a rampage. Gøggs is comprised of Ty, Charles Mootheart, and Chris Shaw of Ex-Cult. We’ll hear more from Ty a bit later.

01:30 Kings of Leon’s first two LPs stand tall in the garage rock revival days of the early ought’s. Garage punk would eventually take over toward the end of the decade, but bands like Kings, White Stripes, Strokes, etc. paved the way for the return of rock and roll to the mainstream. Apparently, the band hadn’t fully formed or learned all their instruments by the time they were offered a record deal. So they locked themselves in a basement with an ounce of grass and practiced until they were ready. We heard “Pistol of Fire” from their 2nd album Aha Shake Heartbreak.

02:00 LA hardcore punk band The Bronx is up next with “Guns Without Bullets” from their self-titled debut; the first of 5 self-titled albums.  The Bronx also performs as a mariachi style band as Mariachi El Bronx and has released 3 full lengths under the pseudonym. Guns would be nothing without the ammo inside. Let’s take a stroll down the bullet-vard and see what we can find.

Intermission

25”The Bullet (Shinkansen)”Duke JordanSolo Masterpieces, Vol. 21992

Set 5: Bullet With Butterfly Wings

26“Guns Without Bullets”The BronxThe Bronx2003
27“Bullet And The Bullseye”The DistillersSing, Sing Death House2002
28“Bullet Proof Nothing”Ty SegallCaesar – 7″ Single2010
29“Bullet”Franz FerdinandRight Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action2013
30“Washington Bullets”The (International) Noise ConspiracyThe Cross Of My Calling2008

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 You may have recognized that tune if you’re a big Clash fan. And if you are a big Clash fan, you’ll like the next set! “Washington Bullets” is an anti-war song written by Joe Strummer that drums up the horrible history of US foreign policy. I’ll give you a hint, it isn’t a peaceful history and bullets were almost always present. Strummer claimed he had never heard of the NBA team of the same name, however they won the NBA championship in 1978, just two years before the song’s release. I have to imagine he subconsciously saw it on a newspaper or something, or else its just a coincidence. I mean why would they name the team that?

00:40 UK band Franz Ferdinand took their name from the historical figure of the same name, the Archduke of Austria. Historians have pretty much agreed that Franz Ferdinand’s assassination was the most immediate cause for World War I. Was it poison? Was it a bombing? The assassins tried the latter earlier in the morning that Franz was killed, but failed. So instead, you guessed it, Franz and his wife were shot point blank while riding in their car. Killed by a bullet, the title of the Franz Ferdinand track played.

00:55 Ty Segall crooned about being abused in “Bullet Proof Nothing” before Franz’s tune. I honestly cannot tell if he is sincerely asking to be treated like dirt in some sort of sadomasochistic way, or if he’s speaking tongue-in-cheek about having a bad relationship full of abuse. “I’m a bullet proof nothing to you, point blank target to your ways of abuse.” The cut comes from the Caesar single.

01:15 Brody Dalle and The Distillers were everywhere in the pop punk craze of the early ought’s. She famously hooked up with (at a very young and concerning age of 17) Tim Armstrong who helped launch her to stardom. Tim’s been accused of grooming Brody during their relationship, to the point that the man she left him for, Josh Homme, has threatened his life. Oddly enough, Brody would go on to marry Josh and have 3 children with him, but divorced him in 2019 citing domestic violence and drug/alcohol abuse. During court proceedings over their competing domestic violence restraining orders in January 2022, Dalle testified that Homme headbutted her so hard she “saw stars” and said he fantasized about murdering her. She was also fined and sentenced to community service a month prior for not honoring court ordered custody time for Josh and the children.

01:40 Although Tim’s allegedly made some very questionable decisions in his past, he has also put out some pretty good music. Its no secret that his favorite band is The Clash, and that was very evident in the late 90s reggae/dub phase of Rancid’s music. If you liked that “Washington Bullets” cover, you’ll like the next set. Here comes two gun cuts from Give ‘Em Enough Rope, followed by a couple of Clash-adjacent songs and a chill ending.

Intermission

31”Straight Shooter”Joe StrummerWalker Soundtrack1987

Set 6: Clashing Ideals

32”Guns On The Roof”The ClashGive ‘Em Enough Rope1978
33“Tommy Gun”The ClashGive ‘Em Enough Rope1978
34”Guns Of Brixton”Dropkick MurphysTKO Records Presents The 1998 Street Punk Title Bout1998
35”I Fought The Law”The CricketsIn Style With The Crickets1960
36”Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)”Nancy SinatraHow Does That Grab You?1966

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 I seriously considered a cover for that, but the original is just untouchable. The guitar tone, the eerie vibe, the Tarantino connection; it had to be the OG. Nancy was partnered up with Lee Hazlewood in the early 1960s at the request of her father Frank Sinatra. Lee was a hip new producer who had scored a hit with Duane Eddy’s “Rebel Rouser”, one of the most famous guitar instrumentals in rock history. That came out in 1958, and in 1959 Lee would produce Duane again for his Especially For You LP, which featured Duane’s cover of “Peter Gunn”, the tune you hear now in the background.

00:40 Prior to Nancy was The Crickets with a very famous rebel tune. After Buddy Holly died, The Crickets pushed on and brought in new singer Earl Sinks to help them put out another LP. In Style With The Crickets was moderately successful, led by a handful of singles. I’d have to argue that “I Fought The Law” was ultimately the most successful song off the album, though. It may not have sold a lot, but its legacy is cemented in rock and roll history. The Clash covered it on their 1979 EP The Cost Of Living, released just 6 months after Give ‘Em Enough Rope.

01:10 Dropkick Murphys played their punk cover of the Clash’s “Guns Of Brixton”. The original version was sampled in 2004 by Cypress Hill for their song “What’s Your Number?“. It featured Tim Armstrong on guitar. Tim also can be heard shouting the title of Rancid’s 1994 album Let’s Go throughout the song. The Murphys cover comes from a 1998 split EP with Anti-Heros.

01:40 The Clash played a couple of gun songs to kick off the set; both from their sophomore album. The first was “Guns On The Roof”, a tune partially inspired by Topper Headon and Mick Jones shooting air-soft guns at racing pigeons on the roof of their rehearsal building and getting arrested. Most of the song, though, is about how controlled the world is by the gun. Live by the gun, die by the gun, I guess.

02:10 The second gun song was “Tommy Gun”. Big shocker here, but this one was also anti-gun. Its notable that drummer Topper Headon plays the snare like the sound of a tommy gun in many parts of the song. This was also done in “I Fought The Law”, with the line “robbin’ people with a six/zip gun” playing over a snare that hits six times.

02:20 And on that note, we must return the safety switch to the Browning. As difficult as it was at times, its been a real pleasure discussing the tools of death today, and I hope you had fun! Remember kids…don’t play with guns…don’t play with guns….

02:25 (music plays and fades out)

Outro

37”Peter Gunn”Duane EddyPeter Gunn1959

Check out my List for all of the releases featured!

abp: space

Here’s the Spotify link to the playlist. You’re welcome to recreate it on any platform you choose. Just press play and read along, acting like the voice in your head is the DJ. The times listed are that of the song playing, not the full episode length. I play this with a 5-second cross-fade enabled. Have fun!

Intro

FMF#TrackArtistAlbumYear
1“Rocketship XL-3”Man Or Astro-Man?Your Weight On The Moon1993

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Hello and welcome to abp’s space episode where intergalactic planetary audio comes flying towards your ears at the speed of light! Today we celebrate the great unknown, the dark skies above, our galaxy and every other one beyond it. We’re all about space today. Not necessarily that kind of space you need for safety or from others, but the space that exists beyond Earth’s atmosphere. We’ll talk about John Dwyer, Dirtnap Records, Ramones-core, blink 182, and a bunch of other interstellar stuff.

01:10 There seems to be a common draw amongst surf, garage, and punk rock songwriters that compels them to scribe about the stars. There’s a lot out there, and the unknown provides unlimited possibilities of storytelling.

01:40 I suppose I could venture a guess that isolation, loneliness, and the feeling of unwelcome might contribute to a writer’s ideas of leaving this planet. Maybe someone out there understands me, they think. Or maybe the thought of what could be out there is just so appetizing that it deserves a song. Space is that great unknown that we can actually see and hope to get to, leaving the imagination to run wild with possibilities.

02:10 One of the most common tropes in a space song is finding your interplanetary love interest out there in the stars. Let’s dig into a few songs about that very topic. Starting things off is the London power pop group The Only Ones. Their debut LP, released in 1978, included their biggest ever song “Another Girl, Another Planet”; a tune written about being in love on another planet. The Replacements famously covered this song, as well as blink 182 for the reality TV show Meet The Barkers. Here’s the original, though.

Set 1: Shuttle Love

2“Another Girl, Another Planet”The Only OnesThe Only Ones1978
3“Space Age Love”Zolar XSpace Age Love1973
4”Space Age Love Song”Brief CandlesThey Live We Sleep2006
5“2000 Light Years Away”Green DayKerplunk!1991
6“Stranded In Space”The RiverdalesTarantula2010

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Much like The Only Ones space tune, The Riverdales wrote about being in love on another planet. Sometimes it can feel that way, I suppose, when you find that one person in the world who gets you. The Riverdales were a musical outlet for Screeching Weasel frontman Ben Weasel when the band first broke up. They would serve as the band that Ben played and recorded with whenever SW wasn’t active. We heard “Stranded In Space” from their 2010 LP Tarantula.

00:40 The Riverdales first gained national notoriety when they opened for Green Day during their 1995 tour. Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong co-produced The Riverdales debut album. It was released on Lookout! Records, the same label that released Green Day’s Kerplunk! just a few years prior. “2000 Light Years Away” is Billie Joe’s ode to his future wife Adrienne, who lived in Minneapolis at the time while he was in Berkeley.

01:10 Brief Candles dropped in for a shoegaze, spaced-out cover of A Flock Of Seagulls’ “Space Age Love Song”. The band scoops their name up from an old track by The Zombies and is based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The mix on this brings the vocals to the background, but its a beautiful rendition nonetheless.

01:40 Before Brief Candles, we heard the legendary Zolar X. Zolar X was an alien band from another planet based out of LA in the early 70s. Zolar were early frontrunners in the glam scene in LA, playing Rodney’s English Disco and landing a residency at the Troubador. They only recorded one official single, of which ten copies were pressed in 1974. Jello Biafra is a fan, though, and in 2004 helped reissue a deluxe edition of their 1982 Timeless compilation.

02:10 We’ll talk more about Jello a bit later. Coming up next is a set about one of the most mysterious, yet well studying phenomenon; black holes. You know, those things in space that would suck you into another dimension or time? A collapsed supernova? First up is “Black Hole, Weirdo Shrine” from La Luz. La Luz had to cancel their spring 2022 tour due to the diagnosis of cancer in lead singer Shana Cleveland, but were back playing shows by June. Here’s the quasi-title track produced by Ty Segall from their 2015 LP Weirdo Shrine.

Intermission

7“Love In Space”Santo & JohnnyCome On In1962

Set 2: Black Hole Fun

8“Black Hole, Weirdo Shrine”La LuzWeirdo Shrine2015
9“Black Hole”The MeantraitorsFrom Psychobilly Land1991
10“Black Holes In Stereo”King TuffBlack Moon Spell2014
11“Big Black Hole”ObliviansSix Of The Best1995
12“Black Hole In My Mind”The LillingtonsDeath By Television1999

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 I wonder if any of The Lillingtons claim to have seen UFOs in that vast Wyoming night sky. More Ramones-core came to us out of the Equality State, with Kody and the gang doing “Black Hole In My Mind”.

00:40 Greg Cartwright and Oblivians dropped in for a blast from their 1995 EP Six Of The Best. “Big Black Hole” was one of a group of songs from two EPs that Oblivians recorded for Sympathy For The Record Industry that year, which were rereleased in 1996 as Sympathy Sessions. Due to the sexual nature of the cover art on both releases, I am questioning the subject matter of this big black hole song.

01:10 Kyle Thomas played us a King Tuff track called “Black Holes In Stereo” from his third LP Black Moon Spell. Kyle plays in Ty Segall’s band The Muggers, and Ty played drums on this albums opening title track. Bobby Harlow of Detroit band The Go, which featured Jack White early on, produced the album. The tune is an homage to the endlessness of the record world, with the vinyl disc on your turntable representing the black hole for you to get lost in.

01:40 Straight outta Russia, now. The Meantraitors were Russia’s first psychobilly band, well at least that’s what they claim. The vocals of singer Stas Bogorod stand out amongst other psychobilly bands, incorporating a Geddy Lee-like wail to the style. Their debut LP From Psychobilly Land remains their best known, and the band re-recorded “Black Hole” in 2022 with Stas singing down a pitch or two.

02:10 “Black Hole Sun….won’t you come….”. What a cool surf cover going on behind us now with a cut from the Fujiyama Monsters. Coming up next is a set about planets, some of them located right here in our Milky Way galaxy, in the “Solar System”. Riverdales guitarist Dan Vapid is about to re-educate us on the planets of our solar system with a song titled exactly that.

Intermission

13“Black Hole Sun”The Fujiyama MonstersFurther Beyond The Sea2009

Set 3: There Is No Plan(et) B

14“The Planets Of Our Solar System”Dan VapidAll Wound Up Vol. 22018
15”No Home Planet”ScrunchiesFeral Coast2022
16”Rogue Planet”Thee Oh SeesMutilator Defeated At Last2015
17”Teenagers From Mars”MisfitsStatic Age1997
18“One Way Ticket To Pluto”Dead KennedysBedtime For Democracy1986

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15  The cartoon imagery of blasting off to Pluto on a rocket is so great. Picture Ronald Reagan in a cosmonaut suit. Why not? Jello Biafra and the Dead Kennedys had already stopped playing shows and were on the verge of a split by the time Bedtime For Democracy came out. Jello and the band still haven’t made amends, but the rest of the members still flaunt the DK name in order to land gigs. Jello forever, though. We heard “One Way Ticket To Pluto” from them.

00:30 More 80s punk legends played before DK with the Misfits’ “Teenager From Mars”. There are a handful of versions of this track, with it being recorded multiple times during the late 70s/early 80s messy years of the Misfits discography. That bands has one of the most complicated release catalogs in existence. To make things mildly simple, we played the version first recorded for their Static Age LP, which was scrapped upon initial recording and not released until 1997.  

0:50 The Oh Sees are fans of 80s punk, as is evidenced not only by their sound on certain tracks but also by their live covers. The band covered 4 Black Flag tunes in 4 minutes during their 2020 pandemic album Live In Big Sur 2020 Henry Miller Memorial Library. Along with King Gizzard and Ty Segall, The Oh Sees have become the 21st century’s most prolific rockers, releasing over 20 albums in this century alone. Thank you John Dwyer.

01:20 Minneapolis’ Scrunchies tore through the set with their 2022 track “No Home Planet”. The cut comes from the groups sophomore release Feral Coast, out on Portland’s Dirtnap Records. Scrunchies shared members with Twin Cities punk group Kitten Forever, whom opened for Peach Kelli Pop in 2018. However, in June 2022, Kitten Forever called it quits. Ideally, that would leave more time for singer Laura Larson to continue with Scrunchies…

01:40 Alright well now we’re going to get weird with it. Mysterious, rather. Let’s talk about things in the sky and what is out there. The “truth is out there” according to The X-Files. We’re all about UFOs in this next set. Kicking it off is more Ramones-core from Chicago. Ben Weasel (Foster) reformed Screeching Weasel as soon as possible following an incident at 2011 SXSW where he got into an altercation with a female fan and club owner. The rest of the band quit after that, but Ben chugged on and stated “Screeching Weasel is never breaking up again. The band dies when I do.” Here’s Ben discussing his personal beliefs with “I Believe In UFOs”.

Intermission

19”The X-Files Theme”Mark SnowMusic From The X Files: 20th Anniversary Celebration2013

Set 4: Unidentified Flying Objects

20”I Believe In UFOs”Screeching WeaselBoogadaboogadaboogada!1988
21”UFO”WimpsRepeat2013
22”Books About UFOs”Hüsker DüNew Day Rising1985
23”Zero Zero UFO”The RamonesBrain Drain1989
24”UFO, Please Take Her Home”CoachwhipsGet Yer Body Next Ta Mine2002

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Oh Sees frontman John Dwyer originally had all of his different sounds separated by bands. OCS was his psych folk outfit, Zeigenbock Kopf was his electronic/noise psych outfit, Damaged Bug was his electronic/experimental outfit, Coachwhips was his noise punk outfit, etc. At this point, most of those sounds run through Osees as a spectrum of genres channeled through one band. But in 2002, Coachwhips was stomping out noise punk better than anyone. Ty Segall took notice and replicated it in his own way, landing him where he his today. We just heard “UFO, Please Take Her Home” from Coachwhips.

00:40 Nobody does Ramones-core better than…the Ramones. Although some of their later albums might suggest otherwise. Might. 1989’s Brain Drain was the last Ramones album with Dee Dee, because he left to be a rapper. Yes, that happened. Check out his Dee Dee King record some time, if you dare. Brain Drain does have some of the band’s bigger hits, though. “Pet Sematary” was their biggest selling single ever, and the album closer “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)” has gained a large audience over the years. We heard “Zero Zero UFO” from that LP.

01:10 Moving West from New York City over to St. Paul, we heard a cut from Hüsker Dü. “Books About UFOs” is a bouncy little piano-laden punk ditty about a woman Grant Hart knows who is obsessed with space. Or maybe she isn’t even real and is just the subject of this little story. Either way, she’s just sittin’ in her room reading books about UFOs.

01:40 Wimps are Seattle’s best nerd punks. They’re not even that nerdy, but their vibe sort of is, and its amazing. They play punk tunes with odd chord changes, stops, and unique subject matter within the lyrics. Lead singer Rachel Rattner has the ability to channel the mundane, the under-thought-about day to day subjects like naps, work, frustration, food, and wet boxes. We heard “UFO” from their 2013 debut LP Repeat on Kill Rock Stars.

02:10 Up next is more little green men subject matter. Before UFOs were given an official title, the mid 20th century space craze had dubbed them “flying saucers”. Tell me, do you have any saucers in your kitchen these days? Who uses a saucer anymore? Anyway, we’ve moved on to a more scientific term. The Rezillos didn’t, though, and are here to tell us about when the little men from Venus and Mars came to visit.

Intermission

25”Spaced”[bsd.u][Late Night Bumps 2]2014

Set 5: We Come In Peace

26“Flying Saucer Attack”The RezillosCan’t Stand The Rezillos1978
27“Flyin’ Saucers Rock & Roll”Billy Lee Riley And The Little Green MenFlyin’ Saucers Rock & Roll1957
28“Astro”The White StripesThe White Stripes1999
29“Big Headed Alien”The AquadollsStoked On You2013
30“Space Guitar”The SpitsThe Spits2003

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 That was The Spits with a song from The Spits. Which one you might ask? 3. The Spits albums are all self titled, but they don’t use that gimmicky color crap that Weezer is obsessed with. Its like they took a joke and just kept using it for some reason. The 3rd Spits album was released on Portland’s Dirtnap Records and features the cut “Space Guitar”.

00:40 Before The Spits, The Aquadolls dropped in for some mermaid rock and roll. The garage/surf trio from SoCal put out Stoked On You in 2013 with the LP released by Burger Records. One of the first songs on their Bandcamp page is called “I’m Your Burger Dream Girl” and oh my goodness does that song hit differently after the whole Burger Records sexual abuse and grooming fiasco. I highly doubt anyone would write that song these days, but maybe? Despite all the terrible shit, there was some great music put out by that label. We heard “Big Headed Alien” by The Aquadolls.

01:10 Maybe Tesla does the Astro? Jack White wrote the lyrics to “Astro” just before the band recorded it. It was initially an intrumental jam, but Jack decided to write it like a dance craze song from the 50s and 60s. See “Mashed Potato” or “The Twist”. The “Astro” is what you do in secret; like space gaze or read books about UFOs. Jack played with Bobby Harlow in The Go during this time, too. The song comes from the White Stripes’ debut 1999 self titled LP, produced by Jim Diamond of The Dirtbombs.

01:40 Billy Lee Riley recorded “Flyin’ Saucers Rock & Roll” in 1957 in Memphis for Sun Records. It was a hit, but nothing like his next song; “Red Hot”. “Red Hot” was climbing fast and about to make him a star, but then came Jerry Lee Lewis and his “Great Balls Of Fire”. There just wasn’t enough room at Sun Records for two men with hit singles about hot elements. Sun focused on promoting Jerry Lee, and Billy Lee faded away. Both songs made a comeback in the late 70s when Robert Gordon and Link Wray covered them.

02:10 Speaking of cover songs…how about we play a couple? First up is the first punk cover I ever heard. Back then, it was a mislabeled Limewire mp3 file titled “blink182-rocketman.mp3” that I had downloaded with the hopes of learning about more blink 182 songs. Instead I got a computer virus and this banger. My world was changed immediately and my fascination with punk covers lives on today. I mean, punk bands have been covering songs since Day 1. The Clash, anyone? Here’s Me First And The Gimme Gimmes doing Elton John’s “Rocket Man” from their 1997 debut LP Have A Ball.

Intermission

31”Space Cowboy”SaibIpanema2015

Set 6: Space Commodity

32“Rocket Man”Me First And The Gimme GimmesHave A Ball1997
33“50,000 Spaceships”Groovie GhouliesWorld Contact Day1996
34”Alien Motion Technology”The MugwumpsBanana Brain2007
35“A New Hope”blink 182Dude Ranch1997
36”Major Tom”The TravoltasThe Highschool Reunion2004

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Earth below us. Drifting, falling. Floating, weightless. Calling, calling home. We all know the melody, but only a handful of us understand what the Travoltas were singing about there. That was “Major Tom”, the song not written by David Bowie but totally taking place in the Bowie universe. Major Tom was the character in “Space Oddity” communicating back and forth between him and ground control. Peter Schilling took the character and placed him into a new space-themed track in the Reagan era, and then the Travoltas covered that song.

00:40 One of Ronald Reagan’s noteworthy policies was the creation of Star Wars. No, not the movie franchise. The Cold War heightened people’s nuclear missile panic to an all time high, and Ron didn’t like the idea of mutually assured destruction. So, he created this stupid ass named program to fund more military endeavors in the name of fear. Nevertheless, this tune references the real Star Wars. Mark Hoppus laments his love for Princess Leia in the 1997 blink 182 track “A New Hope”.

01:10 The Mugwumps hail from Wyoming and are possibly the least known group on the setlist today. In fact, I only discovered them through Teenage Bottlerocket’s Stealing The Covers album. The fellow Wyomingites, Wyomingans, Wyomingos, or whatever they’re called put out an album of cover tunes in 2017 that featured some very unknown tunes to the mainstream world. They gave the songs a whole new light and thankfully introduced us to a grip of other bands that rock that Ramones-core sound. The Mugwumps played us “Alien Motion Technology” from their 2007 LP Banana Brain.

01:40 More Lookout! Records punk rock bounced through the skull with Groovie Ghoulies’ “50,000 Spaceships”. The band held a perfect niche in the punk world for nearly 40 years, channeling pulp comics, classic horror and sci-fi, and adding in a splash of 60s bubblegum pop. The Ghoulies ended when founders Kepi and Roach, who were married since the start of the group, divorced in 2007.

02:10 And on that note, we’re blasting off! Its been a real pleasure spending time and space with you all today and I hope you enjoyed our galactic jams. Live long and prosper. May the force be with you. To infinity….and beyond!

02:15 (music plays and fades out)

Outro

37”Space Oddity”The NeanderthalsThe Neanderthals In Space2005

Check out my List for all of the releases featured!

abp: xmas

Here’s the Spotify link to the playlist. You’re welcome to recreate it on any platform you choose. Just press play and read along, acting like the voice in your head is the DJ. The times listed are that of the song playing, not the full episode length. I play this with a 5-second cross-fade enabled. Have fun!

Intro

FMF#TrackArtistAlbumYear
1“Merry Christmas, Ya Filthy Animal”Black FlamingosMerry Christmas, Ya Filthy Animal2020

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Hello and welcome to abp’s holiday episode! Today we get festive with the holiday cheer, scrooge-y with holiday grumps, and green with holiday envy. Holly and envy, what a Christmas combination! You can find a holiday playlist just about anywhere these days, with many of them featuring the classics we’ve all grown to love. Today on abp, we are venturing into unknown territory. Sure, you’ll hear a classic or two, or maybe a cover of one, but most of these songs are a bit more rare for this time of year, even though this time of year is the entire reason they were recorded!

01:10 There’s an unsurprisingly large amount of holiday punk and garage rock songs out there, and it was quite the challenge to limit this set to 30. Some topics are just more prevalent in rock and roll. A quick search on Spotify or Apple Music returns countless compilations of Christmas cookery, some of them legit releases and many of them fake playlists disguised as a formal release.

01:40 I suppose the reason for so many weird playlists or mixes is because many, many artists record and put out a Christmas song as a single or B-side only to stow it away for the rest of their years. Some recorded them as jokes or gags, some did it to fulfil contractual obligations, some just wanted to party by the punchbowl. Today, we get to dig into some of those obscure ones.

02:10 Many of you might recognize the song playing in the background. That’s the Black Flamingos covering John Williams’ brilliant Home Alone score track “The House”. The introduction song to the movie, Home Alone. Coming up and starting off our fun today, is one of the punk rock Christmas classics you hope to hear this time of year. Gwen Stefani and No Doubt covered this for the popular A Very Special Christmas series in 1997; just over a year after bringing The Vandals on tour with them as an opener. Yes, The Vandals opened for No Doubt. Here’s the story of Haji and Trevor, a turban-wearing punker and a skinhead, respectively, duking it out with a scimitar and num-chuks only to have Haji stop Trevor’s bleeding with his turban and for them both to have whiskey in the pub below. “Oi to the punks, oi to the skins, oi to the world and everyone wins…”

Set 1: He Goes By The Name Jesus And Steals Hubcaps From Cars…

2“Oi To The World”The VandalsOi To The World1996
3“Jingle Bells”The Blues MagoosJingle Bells – 7″ Single1967
4”Christmas”Chuck BerryBack Home1970
5“Run, Run Rudolph”The HumpersHappy Birthday, Baby Jesus – Compilation1993
6“Silent Night”The DickiesSilent Night – 7″ Single1978

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 What a classic! One of the oldest punk covers in existence also happens to be a Christmas song. Sounds about right. The Dickies share The Vandals’ knack for comedy and rock and roll with their jokey lyrics and superbly designed band logo. while also hailing from Southern California. I’d say The Dickies basically started the trend of the “punk cover”. Their debut featured covers of Black Sabbath and Barry McGuire songs along with their first few singles all being covers, including the one we just heard; “Silent Night”.

00:40 The Humpers jumped in to cover Chuck Berry’s smash hit “Run, Rudolph, Run”. They and many others stylize it as “Run, Run Rudolph”, though. Chuck put out the single in 1958 and it peaked at number 69 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2019, 62 years later, it hit number 45 on the same chart, setting a record for the largest gap between charting instances. The Humpers’ version came from the 1993 10″ Christmas punk rock compilation Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus.

01:10 Before that, we heard another Chuck Berry Christmas song. Chuck’s “Christmas” is a slower jam than its menacing holiday predecessor “Run, Run Rudolph”, but that song doesn’t reference spinning records with cocaine and cake! “Christmas” comes from Chuck’s 1970 blues rock album Back Home. a reference to his return to Chess Records after a few albums on Mercury.

01:40 One of the earliest psychedelic groups to form, The Blues Magoos started in NYC in 1964 as The Trenchcoats. After a couple years of lineup changes and name shifts, the band put out their debut album Psychedelic Lollipop in 1967. The album featured their lone hit “(We Ain’t Got) Nothin’ Yet”, which in my opinion is basically Ricky Nelson’s “Summertime” cover dripping in brown acid. The following year, the Magoos put out a Christmas single “Jingle Bells” with the B-side “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”.

02:10 Up next is a song that celebrates the holiday many of us choose to observe this season for an excuse to air our grievances at one another. “I gotta lotta problems with you people, and now, you’re gonna hear about it!”. Its hard to find information on Pondicherry Bomb other than a little on their Bandcamp and some random Youtube videos. What I do know, though, is that they hail from Paris, France, play some cool surf/garage rock sounds, and put out an EP in 2015 called The Ginger. This one’s from a standalone single though in 2017, Festivus.

Intermission

7“Tidings Of Comfort And Joy”The VolcanicsChristmas Wassailing2020

Set 2: …For The Rest Of Us

8“Festivus”Pondichery BombFestivus2018
9“Deck The Halls”The SoaksDeck The Halls – Single2015
10“White Christmas”Bad ReligionChristmas Songs2013
11“Christmas Time”Dead GhostsLight Organ Records…With Bells On!2011
12“Xmas Time Again”Pointed SticksPower Pop Santa – 7″ Single2012

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Pointed Sticks hail from the land of Nardwuar; Vancouver, BC. They were originally active in the late 70s/early 80s, but reformed in the 21st century to continue the magic. They released their debut self-titled in 1980 along with a handful of singles around that time before splitting and reuniting in 2006. In 2012, they put out a Christmas single which included the power pop tune “Xmas Time Again”.

00:40 Vancouver is also home to the garage rock band Dead Ghosts. In 2011, Light Organ Records released a holiday sampler with some exclusive recordings on it from their then-lineup, including the lofi jangle “Christmas Time” from the Canadian foursome.

01:10 The original Irving Berlin-penned, Bing Crosby tune “White Christmas” is the highest selling single of all time with an estimated 50 million copies exchanged for dough. If you look up the most covered songs of all time, “White Christmas” lands at number 11 with 200+ covers. I wonder if they counted this version by Bad Religion?

01:40 The Soaks hail from SoCal, just like Bad Religion, although a bit further south down the coast. The San Diego trio channels their band’s region and fits in well amongst the waves. Their version of “Deck The Halls” alters the vocal melody while holding to the chords and it makes for a delightful holiday delicacy.

02:10 In our next set, we talk about the man…or creature…in red. The US basically bastardized what is now known as Santa Claus, with that exact term first being printed in the Rivington’s Gazette out of NYC, December of 1773. Of course, the legend and mythology behind Santa goes back many hundreds of years, to either Saint Nicholas of the 4th century Greeks bringing dowries to poor Christians, or even more recent to the merging of Father Christmas, Sinterklaas, and other European versions of the frequent flyer. Let’s start off with giving him the rock and roll treatment, though. Here’s “Rock And Roll Santa” from The 5.6.7.8’s.

Intermission

13“Christmas In Las Vegas”Los Straightjackets‘Tis The Season For…2002

Set 3: Not A Creature Was Stirring, Not Even A..

14“Rock And Roll Santa”The 5.6.7.8’sRock And Roll Santa – 7″ Single2003
15”Santa’s Coming (Ho, Ho, Ho)”The WogglesSanta’s Coming – Single2014
16”Father Christmas”The KinksFather Christmas – 7″ Single1977
17”Santa Mouse”Bob MorrisonSanta Mouse / It’s Christmas – 7″ Single1966
18“Surfin’ Santa”Lord Douglas ByronSurfin’ Santa – 7″ Single1964

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15  Lord Douglas Byron was the frontman for The Continentals (out of LA) in 1962. There are only two known singles recorded by him and the group, with Byron dropping the band’s name from the second release – “Surfin’ Santa”. The end of the tune sounds very similar to “Alley Oop” by the Hollywood Argyles, produced by Gary Paxton. Paxton is credited with producing this one too. I think he was on to something.

00:40  Much like Gary, Bob Morrison was a songwriter based our of LA in the late 60s who eventually moved on to country music in the ’70s. His most famous pen might be “Lookin’ For Love” by Johnny Lee from the Urban Cowboy soundtrack. Back in 1965, he recorded a few singles for Columbia Records, including the novelty tune “Santa Mouse”.

01:10 “Father Christmas” is not only a bigger hit in England, but there are still many, many Americans who have no idea who Father Christmas is. The Kinks’ Ray Davies wrote the tune about a Mall Santa getting accosted after putting on such a joyful face for all the little girls and boys. The song has punk elements to it, which is probably why its been covered by numerous punk bands, such as Bad Religion.

01:40 The Woggles released a benefit album in 2019 for Jeff Walls, aka The Flesh Hammer, one of their founding members. Jeff died of a rare pulmonary disease in May of that year. The band features The Mighty Manfred, a regular DJ on Little Steven’s Underground Garage. The benefit is a compilation of earlier recordings, including one from their 2014 Christmas single Santa’s Coming, which we just heard.

02:10 Alright, continuing on with the surf theme, let’s kick of the next set with one of the pioneering surf groups, The Surfaris. Perhaps thrown in the the hat with other surf rock legends like the Beach Boys and Jan & Dean, The Surfaris reign supreme due to their early play in the game, and also due to one of the most iconic drum solos in music from “Wipe Out”. This track, though, comes from a single released a few months after “Wipe Out”, their Christmas single “A Surfer’s Christmas List”. Santa, can you please just bring him some baggies and a customized woody?

Intermission

19”Sleigh Ride” The Vara-TonesHave Yourself A “Vara”
Merry Christmas!
2011

Set 4: Surfin’ Santa’s Got Hockey Hair

20”A Surfer’s Christmas List”The SurfarisA Surfer’s Christmas List – 7″ Single1963
21”Santa And The Sidewalk Surfer”The TurtlesHappy Together Again!1974
22”Little Saint Nick”Best CoastIndie For The Holidays – Amazon Exclusive2019
23”Santa Has A Mullet”Nerf HerderHi-Voltage Christmas Rock2000
24”Santa Claus”Thee HeadcoateesSanta Claus – 7″ Single1992

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Thee Wild Billy Childish is heard at the beginning of that last track, a cover of The Sonics’ “Santa Claus” done by Billy’s all-women protégé band Thee Headcoatees. Originally performing as The Delmonas, once Holly Golightly joined them for a cameo, Billy renamed them and they began their own storied career. More from Holly later.

00:40 Can we even really be sure that Santa doesn’t have a mullet? I think Nerf Herder makes a strong point here. Comes from the land of ice (hockey), always wears a hat with long flowing white locks out the back, has friends named Rudy, Don, Blitz, etc. What a great tune from their ultra rare holiday EP Hi-Voltage Christmas Rock from 2002.

01:10 More SoCal rock played before that with California coastal advocates Best Coast. Named as such to match Bethany Constantino’s initials, but also to plug the west coast as the best. They channeled their surf-rock ancestors the Beach Boys with a cover of “Little Saint Nick”, taken from an Amazon exclusive holiday playlist in 2019.

01:40 Before Best Coast, we played more surfin’ Santa satire from, you guessed it, Southern California. I heard they like to surf there. The Turtles were out of LA and hit it big with “Happy Together” but not before recording a few LPs and singles for White Whale. One of those singles, “Santa And The Sidewalk Surfer” wasn’t released officially until their 1974 compilation LP Happy Together Again.

02:10 While many of us who celebrate this time of year want nothing but a perfect, snowy white day with everything going our way, that almost never happens. In our next set, we hear about some holiday mishaps and non-ideal conditions to celebrate. Perhaps one of the most famous holiday mishaps, is the story of Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer. You know, the reindeer whose nose glowed red and lighted the way for Santa’s sleigh? Totally logical. Here’s the Galaxies out of the Pacific Northwest USA from the Merry Christmas garage rock compilation in 1965 singing about that magical flying hooved creature.

Intermission

25”Skating”Vince Guaraldi TrioA Charlie Brown Christmas1965

Set 5: Christ-mishaps

26“Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer”The GalaxiesMerry Christmas – Compilation1965
27“Christmas Tree On Fire”Holly GolightlyChristmas Tree On Fire – 7″ Single2006
28“Rain, Sleet, Snow”Paul Revere & The RaidersA Christmas Present…And Past1967
29“Gingerbread Man”Tommy James & The ShondellsMony Mony1968
30“Christmas In Baghdad”Black LipsMerry Christmas – 7″2007

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 There’s spending Christmas alone, and then there’s spending Christmas alone on a cot in a tent in a warzone. The Black Lips’ “Christmas In Baghdad” is one of the most depressing holiday songs around with lyrics pining over wanting to go home and not end up dead, face-down in the sand. Too real, man. To all those soldiers stuck somewhere during the holidays, even if you want to be there, this ones for you.

00:40 Tommy James & The Shondells were riding high in 1968 after their titular single “Mony Mony” hit the airwaves. Their album of the same name reached #193 on the Billboard 200, and when the next LP was due to be released, the first single, “Do Something To Me” featured the B-side “Gingerbread Man”, which was actually taken from Mony Mony.

01:10 Another sixties garage staple played prior to that with Paul Revere And The Raiders doing “Rain, Sleet, Snow”. The group was waning in popularity by 1967 with the tide changing toward a more psychedelic sound than the standard pop rock. So, naturally, the band turned up the fuzz and wah and made a Christmas album. It works though!

01:40 Holly Golightly covered a lesser-known songwriter’s ode to a burning evergreen. Tom Heinl, the Eugene, Oregon based musician wrote “Christmas Tree On Fire” for his 2003 album With Or Without Me. The album also featured a second round of every song after the final track, with the vocals removed. Tom called the “Stereoke” tracks and was hoping you’d sing along. Holly released her cover as a standalone single in 2006.

02:10 Alright, Christmas night is fast approaching and we’ve got one more set to go. Up next are some real classic holiday songs out of the punk world. blink-182 took their sound in a new direction after reforming and adding Tom Delonge-replacement Matt Skiba to the lineup. Their early records still stand with the best 90s skate punk, though. In 1997, just after releasing Dude Ranch, the band recorded “I Won’t Be Home For Christmas” for KROQ’s annual holiday concert/party. This was one of the last recordings to feature their original drummer Scott Raynor. Scott, this one’s for you, sir. Here’s Mark, Tom, and Scott doing their holiday jam.

Intermission

31”Plump Righteous”King Khan & The BBQ ShowMerry Christmas – 7″2007

Set 6: New Year’s Christmas

32”I Won’t Be Home For Christmas”blink-182I Won’t Be Home For Christmas – Single1997
33“Every Day Is Christmas”Sass DragonsSnacking Is For Sissies – Digital EP2007
34”Sweet Christmas”Shonen KnifeSweet Christmas – Single2011
35”Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)”The RamonesBrain Drain1989
36”I Wish It Was Christmas Today”Julian CasablancasI Wish It Was Christmas Today – Single2009

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 That song was destined for greatness the moment it hit the airwaves on December 9th, 2000. Saturday Night Live premiered their Season’s Greeting bit with an original tune performed by Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan, and Tracy Morgan. The song was catchy. So catchy, that fellow NYC native Julian Casablancas of The Strokes recorded this version for a standalone single to his solo album 9 years later.

00:40 More NYC holiday rock before that with The Ramones doing their famous holiday tune “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)”. The song’s been covered by Bowling For Soup, Mattiel, Asobi Seksu, and even Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul. Yep, that Little Steven! It also proclaims a great message. Maybe just for one night, we don’t have to fight.

01:10 Though inspired by The Ramones, Shonen Knife totally outlasted them as a punk band. The Japanese all-women trio formed in 1981 and found notoriety in America due to Kurt Cobain putting their debut tape on his “Top 50 by Nirvana” list found in his autobiography. Well, that came later, they actually opened for Nirvana on their 1991 Nevermind tour and thought the Seattle trio looked scary and very grunge. Ha! We heard “Sweet Christmas”, a single from 2007.

01:40 From the Big Apple over to the Windy City, Sass Dragons hail from the Midwest’s largest metropolis, Chicago. The punk trio contributed their 2007 song “Every Day Is Christmas” from their Snacking For Sissies split to the Chicago-based band comp Half-Assed Chicago on Johann’s Face Records.

02:10 Well that brings us to the end of the episode. I hope you enjoyed some of these tracks and facts and welcome you to join abp again next time! Now go open that “Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis” and learn about how she got pregnant…or didn’t.

02:15 (music plays and fades out)

Outro

37”The House”John WilliamsHome Alone
(Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
1982

Check out my List for all of the releases featured!

Heard To Find: The Dynettes – “Witness To A Heartbreak”

Artist: The Dynettes
Track: “Witness To A Heartbreak”
Release: New Guy / Witness To A Heartbreak (7″)
Year: 1965
Duration: 2:30

Maurice Williams scored a huge hit in 1960 when he and The Zodiacs put out the single “Stay”. At just 1:36 in length, the single would become the shortest song to ever reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in the United States. After groups like The Hollies and The Four Seasons laid down their own versions of the song and pushed it into an international audience, Maurice & The Zodiacs would reap the benefits. Jackson Browne interpolated it into the finale of his 1978 masterpiece album Running On Empty as “The Load Out / Stay” which again brought the song to new audiences. It wasn’t until the song’s inclusion on the 1987 soundtrack to the film Dirty Dancing, though, that it would sell it’s highest amount of copies.

In 1965, Maurice wrote and arranged a pair of tracks for the girl group The Dynettes to record. I can’t seem to find much on The Dynettes individually, but as the record suggests the song was recorded in Chicago, Illinois around 1964 under the production of Bill “Bunky” Sheppard. According to the comments section of this Nerdtorious.com post, the lead singer’s name was Idella and she was last known to reside in Charlotte, North Carolina. That’s it. That’s all I can find, and that’s assuming the comment is legit.

As for the song itself, it bounces along like a lollipoppy, mid-60s soul jam with a nice, clean guitar chasing the messy drumbeat backed up by an organ and a call and response type vocal setting. It’s a shame this one didn’t make it further up the charts.

I’m sure the saturation of sixties girl groups made for a challenge for anyone to break through to fame, especially with the absolute domination from Phil Spector and his Wall of Sound groups.

The A-side, “New Guy” is another gem, this time with a more up-tempo approach. I love how the deep horns back up the girls’ vocals in start contrast. This song could easily be found on a movie montage or soundtrack. Something Summer-y.

The Constellation Records catalog has all kinds of hidden soul gems from 1964-65 and you can currently find the Constellation of Rhythm & Blues compilation on streaming services. Give it a dig sometime, these songs are the epitome of “lost treasures”. Instead of posting links to just the Dynettes’ music, here’s the full compilation.

Heard To Find: Zap – “Football Stomp”

Artist: Zap
Track:“Football Stomp”
Release: Don’t Wanna Play / Football Stomp (7″)
Year: 1975
Duration: 3:14

Side B: “Football Stomp”

Back in 1975, Walter Kahn was riding the success of his Grammy-winning production of the single “Love Me Like A Rock” by The Dixie Hummingbirds. The Dixie Hummingbirds had recorded the Paul Simon-penned track with Paul at Muscle Shoals in 1973, but wanted to record their own version. Shortly after recording the original with Paul, they did just that. The Hummingbirds’ version won them a Grammy for Best Gospel Performance in 1974, with Walter getting an award for producing it. In 1975, Walter wrote, arranged, and produced a few singles for Grand Prix Records featuring studio musicians under fake band names like QVRS and Zap. A couple of these singles were sports themed, including the disco dance novelty tune “Phillies Fever” featuring 5 players of the Philadelphia Phillies franchise, Larry Bowa, Mike Schmidt, David Cash, Greg Luzinski and Garry Maddox. Another single, “Don’t Wanna Play”, was backed with the sporty B-side “Football Stomp”. That single flopped, but had very minor success in the Philadelphia area.

Later in Kahn’s career, he hit #1 on the Billboard Top Dance Singles chart with his production of The Movement’s 1992 Jock Jams-destined hit “Jump!“.

Continuing on with the hip-hop/dance inspired work, he would end up earning another Grammy nomination in 1995 for producing rapper Skee-Lo’s single “I Wish“.

Back to the “Stomp”, though. The song is a power pop ode to the NFL and that’s about as much as you can squeeze out of it. Towards the end of the song, Zap sings aloud all of the current NFL teams at the time, many of which sound like made up teams considering all of the expansion and city-hopping the league has done over the years. The Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers would arrive the following year in 1976, along with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, Baltimore Ravens, and Houston Texans in the years to come, but this 1975 snapshot serves a nostalgic glimpse into the days of yesteryear.

Side A: “Don’t Wanna Play”

The A-side, “Don’t Wanna Play” is a standard mid-70s pop rock song and isn’t nearly as remarkable as “Football Stomp”. There’s pretty much no way to market “Football Stomp” as a single, though, so it’s understandable.

Regardless of my or your opinion of the songs, I’d like to thank Walter and the rest of the production crew for putting this out. It was well worth the listen!

Heard To Find: The Jon-Lee Group – “Pork Chops”

Artist: The Jon-Lee Group
Track:“Pork Chops”
Release: Bring It Down Front / Pork Chops (7″)
Year: 1967
Duration: 2:10

I found this buried in a box of beat up and thrown out 7″ records from a former coworker of mine. Most of the records he gave me were part of a lot sold on eBay from an old diner in California coupled with some books. The coworker wanted the books, the records came with them. So, naturally, he gave the wax to his record-loving pal; yours truly. 

Now for a little backstory on the band.

John Finley would seem like just another revolving member of The Checkmates by the time he met with the band in 1964. The Checkmates formed as Lee Jackson & The Checkmates in 1962, before experiencing a few lineup changes throughout the next few years. As Jon and Lee & The Checkmates, the band would snag some mild local scene success and even score a few huge opportunities to perform for national audiences (opening for the Rolling Stones and some ABC TV slots), but both chances fell apart. By 1967, now evolved into The Jon-Lee Group, the band would record 4 songs, two of which made it to wax. The instrumental B-side from the debut single, “Pork Chops” is the featured track today. 

The track has a down-up-down strum pattern similar to a sped up version of Otis Redding & Carla Thomas’ “Tramp“, “Good Stuff” from The B-52s’ 1992 LP of the same name,  and among many others, another Paul Rothchild connection – The Doors’ “The Changeling”. Rothchild was one of the first to offer the Jon-Lee Group a contract with his “indie” label, Elektra Records. The band declined and would shortly thereafter break up. John Finley and Paul Rothchild would continue their relationship, though, with Paul recruiting John and fellow Checkmate Michael Fonfora to form his new super-group Rhinoceros.  

As far as I know, this cut and it’s A-side companion, “Bring It Down Front”, never saw a re-release, even after The Checkmates reformed in 1999. Even though it’s a bit obscure, maybe someday a repress will happen. With it being distributed by a large label like ABC Records, there could be hope. It’s not like this was just some small private pressing, someone knows where those tapes are! In the meantime, all we have are some hard-to-find 7″ records (which I luckily landed a copy of) and the glorious YouTube rips from vinyl heads across the world. Enjoy the “Pork Chops”, bon appetit!

Check out a full bio and history of the band as well as some insight into Rhinoceros at http://www.rhinoceros-group.com/checkmates.html!